Festive hanging biscuits
- December 2015
- Makes 40
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 15 min, plus cooling
Mima Sinclair’s gingerbread biscuits add an element of fun, and taste, to your tree. Easy to decorate they are perfect for hanging, or to wrap up beautifully and give as a Christmas gift.
- 4.5g (2.7g saturated)
- 23.5g (13.8g sugars)
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking liner or baking paper.
- Cut a large sheet of baking paper and roll out the gingerbread on it to 5mm thick. Using Christmas cutters, stamp out biscuit shapes and put them on the lined baking sheets using a palette knife. Leave space for them to spread a little.
- Press one end of a straw into each of the biscuits where you’d like to thread a ribbon to hang, twist the straw and pull away to make a hole – or use a skewer.
- Put the baking sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes until the biscuits are hard. Bake in batches for 10-15 minutes depending on size, until golden brown at the edges. Check the holes are still large enough to thread ribbon through. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Add a little water to the icing, drop by drop, until it reaches soft peak consistency (when you lift out a spoon, a peak will form and bend over at the tip). Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle. Decorate the biscuits with dots, lines and swirls, then add your choice of sprinkles. Leave to cool completely for 4 hours before tying with ribbon and hanging.
This recipe is from Mima Sinclair’s book Gingerbread Wonderland (£8.99, Amazon)
The hanging holes can close up as the dough bakes. Re-pierce them with the straw while the biscuits are still warm from the oven.
The biscuits are best eaten on the day of baking but will keep for up to 48 hours in a tightly sealed container.
How to ice and pipe using royal icing
If you don’t have piping bags, make your own by twisting a tight cone out of baking paper, or use a small plastic food bag and cut off one corner. If you don’t have piping nozzles you can just cut off the end of the piping bag. Note that a nozzle will give you better results as it’s more precise. Only half-fill the piping bag with icing so it doesn’t ooze out of the top when you squeeze. To make chocolate icing, use 60g sifted cocoa powder in place of an equal amount of icing sugar.
To make soft peak icing
Stir water into royal icing, a drop at a time, until you have icing that holds a soft peak and doesn’t spread out on its own. Use for piping lines, borders and decorations.
To make flood icing
Stir water into royal icing, 1 tsp at a time, until you have a thick but slightly runny icing that smooths out on its own within 15 seconds but isn’t so runny that it runs off the edge of your biscuit. Use for filling in larger areas of biscuit.
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